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YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 23, 2016--The song remains the same for Maestro Blue Chip. Tuesday afternoon was the ninth victory in as many seasonal starts for the prohibitive ($2.50) favorite, easily winning the $73,500 final of Yonkers Raceway/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series. The series was open to 3-year-olds and their elders who were non-winners of six parimutuel races and/or $100,000 through this past Feb. 1 (winners over $150,000 through that date ineligible). In play early from post position No. 6, "Maestro" (Tim Tetrick) had to work around first leader Summers Windsong (Jason Bartlett) before taking over. Lakota (George Brennan) was away third from the pole. Once pointed toward the point, there wasn't a whole lot of suspense. Maestro Blue Chip did his thing (:28.3, :57.4, 1:27.1, 1:56), dismissing a weak, first-up challenge from Newcastle (Brett Miller). "Maestro" owned and length-and-a-three-quarter lead entering the lane, before closing the sale by a length-and-a-quarter. He had won his three series legs by nearly 15 combined lengths. Summers Windsong was a solid second in a very good effort, with Lakota a three-hole third. Newcastle did hold fourth, while Tuscanellie (Dan Dube) recovered from an early misbehave to grab the final pay envelope. Jackie Goldstein (Vinny Ginsberg), Stormont Park (Jordan Stratton) and breaking-early A List Lindy (Matt Kakaley) rounded out the order. Maestro Blue Chip is a 4-year-old son of Credit Winner owned Richard Poillucci trained by JoAnn Looney-King. The exacta paid $41.60, with the triple returning $82. The $36,750 winner's share upped the seasonal earnings to an even $105,000, not including the $10,000 bonus from the SOA of NY. "He's just so versatile," Tetrick said. "I don't think we know where his bottom is since he hasn't race that much (22 career starts). He can get over any size track and I know they're very high on him. He has some tougher stakes later in the season, so we're going to find out." A $30,000 series consolation was won by a down-the-road Covert Operative (Brian Sears, $5.40) in 1:56.4. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, April 24, 2016--They haven't beaten him all season, and they're probably gonna have to go some to do it with the money on the table. Maestro Blue Chip, he of the 8-for-8 seasonal resume, looms a short-priced proposition Tuesday afternoon in the $73,500 final of Yonkers Raceway/Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series. Post time for the dozen-race card is 1 PM, with the series finale going as the fifth race. The series was open to 3-year-olds and their elders who were non-winners of six parimutuel races and/or $100,000 through this past Feb. 1 (winners over $150,000 through that date ineligible). "Maestro" wears head No. 6 after drawing post position No. 5 in the finale of the four-week event, which has seen him win his three series legs by nearly 15 combined lengths...all as the odds-on choice. The 4-year-old son of Credit Winner is again driven by Tim Tetrick for owner Richard Poillucci and trainer JoAnn Looney-King. Maestro Blue Chip enters with seasonal earnings of $68,250 and his 1:55.3 effort a week ago was the fastest mile of this series. A List Lindy (Matt Kakaley, HN 1A, post 2), Tuscanellie (Dan Dube, HN 2, post 3) and Newcastle (Brett Miller, HN 6, post 7) each won twice in their series tries. Lakota (George Brennan, HN 1, post 1), Jackie Goldstein (Vinny Ginsburg, HN 3, post 4), Summers Windsong (Jason Bartlett, HN 4, post 5) and Stormont Park (Jordan Stratton, HN 7, post 8) complete the field. A $30,000 series consolation goes as the fourth race. Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Odds-on favorite Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $2.60, part of entry)  was the best Free-For-Aller entering and the best exiting Saturday night, winning the $609,000 harness racing final of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The 29th Levy, again honoring the memory of the Harness Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, served as both the richest race in the history of the event and richest race of the season to date. Bit of a Legend N, after winning all five of his series prelims (including a track-record dead-heat [with Wiggle It Jiggleit] a week ago), drew post position No. 2 in the final. He was away third early, behind pole-sitting Take it Back Terry (George Brennan) and that one's stablemate, All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley). All Bets Off, from post No. 5, paid a 27-second price for the first lead. Stratton, wanting no part of a three-hole, quickly moved Bit of a Legend N to the front, finding a :55.2 intermission. "Terry" then took out of third, trying his luck down the backside the second time, with P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) happily accepted that one's tow. However, Take it Back Terry never came that close to the "Legend," who maintained an open lead in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters. The advantage was a length-and-a-half entering the lane, and Bit of Legend N was about to close the sale. All Bets Off ducked in but never threatened as the people's preference won by a length in a life-best 1:51. Hr also become the first Down Under winner of this event. Texican N (Yannick Gingras), stable buddy of the winner, rallied quite nice for third, with P H Supercam and "Terry" earning the minor moolah. Texas Terror N (Brett Miller), Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears) and Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) rounded out the order. The final time of 1:51 also matched Maltese Artist's (Greg Grismore) stakes record set in 2007, when the series returned after an 11-year hiatus. For Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his eighth win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $4.60, with no triple wagering offered to the limited number (five) of wagering interests. For Stratton, it was the biggest win of his career. "He's perfect for Yonkers, a small horse who gets around this track great. "Anything can happen when you go for this money," Stratton said. "I let everything settle and then went to the front. He's been great through the series and I'm just fortunate to be able to drive him. "He's the best horse I've ever trained and Jordan's taken good care of him," his Aussie-born trainer said, before giving a shout out to the owner "(Harry von Knoblauch) is 90-years-old and he's on a cruise with his daughter right now. He said, 'I wish I could get off this boat and be there.' I told him he'd feel a lot better when he got the check." What's next? "He gets some time off, and then, since he's not staked to very much, we're hoping for Invitationals at other half-miles (Western Fair, Harrington, and Northfield). The $304,500 winner's share upped Bit of a Legend N's seasonal earnings to an industry-best $451,250. A $100,000 series consolation was won by death-and-taxes Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague, $2.10) in 1:51. Frank Drucker

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride...until this time around. Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $8.30), second-best in this race a season ago, rolled from off the pace Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $309,800 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for harness racing pacing mares. Unhurried early from post position No. 4, "Yagonnakissme" watched Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) was launched from behind the eight-ball. She was met by Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton), with the latter-as the slight 5-2 favorite-retaking before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. Sell a Bit N continued to lead at :55.3 half as Lady Shadow (Corey Callahan) took out of third. That one moved toward the leader while Yagonnakissmeornot had some ground to make up from second-over to play catch-up. A :27.4 third quarter (1:23.2) did enough to make leader and challenger a bit susceptible, though Sell a Bit N had a length-and-a-half in and out of the final turn. As that was happening, Yagonnakissmeot was getting the memo and roaring through the lane. She picked off the pace-setter, whipping Sell a Bit N by a pair of going-away lengths in a life-best 1:51.4. Sell a Bit N held second, with a third-over Al Raza N (Dave Miller) third. Regil Elektra (Tim Tetrick) and last season's winner, Venus Delight (Yannick Gingras) settled for the remainder, with Krispy Apple, Lady Shadow and Mach it a Par brought up the rear. For Yagonakissmeornot, a third choice 7-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard. Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, it was her fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.80, with the triple returning $143. "I thought about leaving the gate, but when I saw the outside horse (Krispy Apple) leave hard, I decided against it," Dube said. "She's just a tough mare." Dube also won this race in 2011 with Tomorrowpan. "She's a favorite around the barn, goes about her work and stays at it," Allard said. A $75,000 series consolation was won by Carolsideal (Dube, $4) in 1:52.1 as a stablemate to the series winner. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 11, 2016-Bettor N Better N (Jason Bartlett, $9.30) tripped out from the pocket Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $30,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. In play early from her assigned post position No. 3, Bettor N Better made the first lead before handing off to 4-5 favorite Sassa Hanover (George Brennan). "Sassa," looking to regain past glory (who among us isn't?), led through intervals of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:24.1, taking a length lead into the lane. Despite getting comfy fractions and the fact none of her five rivals moved until McCovey Cove N (Jordan Stratton) did so from fifth nearing the three-quarters, Sassa Hanover was done. Bettor N Better edged out of the pocket, went by the leader and held off a twisting-and-turning, knifing-through 'McCovey" by a neck in a season's-best 1:52.3. Alhambra (Tyler Buter) angled from the three-hole and was third, while Sassa Hanover faded to fifth. For second choice Bettor N Better, a 4-year-ol daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was her second win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $34.40, with the triple returning $1116.50. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night with a $1.3 million 13-race card (first post 7:10 PM), highlighted by the sport's two richest races of the season to date, the $609,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial (9th race) and $309,800 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker (7th race). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 19, 2016-Post positions have been drawn for Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night's (Apr. 23) series finals, the $309,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker and $606,000 George Morton Levy Memorial. The Levy, going as the ninth race (approximate post 9:50 PM ET), found points leader Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) landing post position No. 2. Bit of a Legend N swept his five series prelims, including last week's track-record, dead-heat (1:51.2) with Wiggle It Jiggleit. Peter Tritton trains for owner Harry von Knoblauch. Take it Back Terry, last season's series runner-up and thrice a winner in four tries this time around, outdrew his eight rivals for the final. George Brennan takes his usual seat for co-owners (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. Both "Legend" and "Terry" have entrymates in Texican N (Driver TBA, post 6) and All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, post 5), respectively. A third entry starts in the form of P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett, post 3) Mach it So (Tim Tetrick, post 7). Texas Terror N (Brett Miler, post 4) and Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears, post 8) round out the field. The final of the Matchmaker goes as the seventh race (approx. post 9:10 PM), and drew out as such...1-Lady Shadow (Corey Callahan), 2-Regil Elektra (Tetrick), 3-Sell a Bit N (Stratton), 4-Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube), 5-Al Raza N (Dave Miller), 6-Mach it a Par (Brennan), 7-Venus Delight (Tetrick also listed, post 7), 8-Krispy Apple (Bartlett). Venus Delight is the defending champ, while "Yagonna' was this season's points leader. As has been the case annually, these are the sport's two richest races of the season to date, with this also being the richest-ever edition of the Levy. A pair consolations ($100,000-Levy, $75,000-Matchmaker) go immediately before their finals. Wiggle It Jiggleit will race in the consolation as he did not earn enough points for the final. By Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 18, 2016-Yonkers Raceway has announced the purses for this Saturday night's (Apr. 23) series finals, with the Blue Chip Matchmaker going for the $309,800 and the George Morton Levy Memorial set at $606,000. As has been the case annually, these are the sport's two richest races of the season to date, with this also being the richest-ever edition of the Levy. Note that the open draws for these races-and their respective consolations ($100,000-Levy, $75,000-Matchmaker)-shall be conducted Tuesday Apr. 19) morning. The final series standings accompany this release, though the eligibles for finals and consolations are solely determined by the race office per the conditions of the series. http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/levystandings.pdf http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/bluechipstandings.pdf Horsemen are reminded they are responsible for entering, with the Saturday entry box closing Tuesday morning at 9 AM. For more information, please contact the race office at (914) 457-2627. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

No bait and switch here. It was as advertised Saturday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the fifth and final preliminary round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The highly-anticipated first matchup between Wiggle It Jiggleit and Bit of a Legend N---two photogenic figures-was so stirring, neither one wanted to be left out of the picture. Both were sent off at odds-on in the last of three, $50,000 divisions, and when the stone dust settled, the camera was unable to separate 3-4 favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) and 9-10 second choice Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) in 1:51.2. Neither was put in the play at the outset, with "Legend"-from post position No. 4-operating from second -over, directly in front of WIJI, who started from post No. 7. As the battle unfolded in earnest, it appeared Stratton, with his place in next week's final (purse TBA) already secured, was in no hurry to advance, knowing exactly who was on his back. Wiggle It Jiggleit, meanwhile, had to win (and get plenty of help) if he was to have to any shot of making that same race. Fourth and sixth, respectively, turning for home, Bit of a Legend N and WIJI unleashed a torrid stretch duel before hitting the line together as "Legend" completed a 5-for-5 series prelim resume. It was another 2½ lengths to Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras). Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, has won seven of his nine North American starts. Wiggle It Jiggleit, a 4-year-old Mr. Wiggles gelding, is now 3-for-4 (2-for-3 in series) this season and 26-for-31 in his $2 million-plus career. George Teague Jr. and Teague Racing Partnership co-own WIJI, trained by Clyde Francis. Both halves of the track-record heater returned the lowest-allowed-by-law $2.10. The exactas paid $2.80 (WIJI first) and $3.40 (Bit of a Legend N first), with the triples returning $6.20 (WIJI first) and $11.60 ("Legend" first). "I thought (Wiggle It Jiggleit) may have had us late, but my horse came back," Stratton said. "It was a helluva race." Saturday night's opening Levy division was won by 6-5 choice Lettucerockthem A (Brian Sears, $4.50). From post No. 2, he quarter-moved, then held second-choice P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) at bay by a half-length in life-best 1:51. All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) was buried early, then picked off the rest for third. Lettucerockthem A, a 6-year-old Down Under Art Major gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bob Hamather and Bruce Soulsby, is 2-for-7 this season (1-for-3 in series). The exacta paid $13.60, with the triple (three wagering choices in order) returning $22.40. The second series get-together was won by a pocket-sitting fave Mach it So (Tim Tetrick, $3.90). From post No. 2, he tripped-out by a neck over a stubborn, first-up Texican N (Stratton) in 1:51.3. Te Kawau N (George Brennan) third. Foiled Again, in his 250th career start, cut the mile from the pylons, gave way grudgingly late and finished fourth. Mach it So, a 6-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., is now 3-for-5 this series/season. The exacta paid $24.20, with the triple returning $118.50. (Note...final Levy standings were being fact-checked by the race office and thus unavailable as of this writing.) Saturday night's $40,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Melady's Monet (Bartlett, $2.40) in 1:54.4. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 15, 2016-Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker continued Friday night, with a pair $40,000 divisions comprising the fifth and final preliminary round. The evening began with Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett, $7), eschewing an early pocket, then lasting on the lead. From post position No. 2, she was immediately seated early by Cinamony (Yannick Gingras), but wanted nothing to do with that. She then took over before completed her rounds (:27.4, :56.3, 1:24.2, 1:52.2) for a second consecutive series Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton), as the 3-2 favorite, had left into a three-hole. She elected not to move first-up, then found herself wedged behind a tiring Cinamony. Sell a Bit N did get the passing lane, but not nearly in time to track down Krispy Apple, who-as the second choice-prevailed by three-quarters of a length. Carolsideal (Dan Dube), a uncovered winner a week ago, was an uncovered third here. For Krispy Apple, an 8-year-old Western Ideal ma'am co-owned by Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., she's now 2-for-6 this season (2-for-5 in series) after her 42st career victory. The exacta paid $20.80, with the triple returning $62.50. The second event saw a repeating Yagonnakissmeornot (Dube, $5.20) pick off a badly-drifting Mach it a Par (George Brennan). The latter, victimized by a horrid shuffle-out last week, had no one to blame but herself in this one. From post No. 2, the 13-10 fave worked around "Yagonnakissme" and set tepid intervals (:28.1, :58, 1:26). Mach it a Par opened a couple of lengths entering the lane, but her desire to meet the crowd was about to cost her. Yagonnakissmeornot, as the second choice, stayed on the straight and narrow to win by a length in 1:53.2. Skippin' By (Gingras) was a three-hole third. For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 7-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazain and Kapildeo Singh, she's now 3-for-6 this season (3-for-5 in series) The exacta paid $10.80, with the triple returning $57.50. Note that series points leader (entering this round) Al Raza N was AWOL for the last leg. Saturday night's card brings the fifth (final) round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Three, $50,000 divisions (races 5 through 7) comprise this last incarnation. Both series finals (and their respective consolations) are set for next Saturday night, Apr. 23. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, April 14, 2016--That Brian Sears won four races during a card doesn't exactly qualify as "man bites dog." When Sears' last victory of that Thursday night quartet was a milestone for the trainer, it sort of justifies this missive. Rene Allard trained a trio of Yonkers Raceway winners from seven starters Thursday, including death-and tax-deadline-is-Monday Daylon Miracle ($2.30) in the $14,000, 11th race trot (1:55.4). That was the 3,000th victory of his career, making him--at 29--youngest trainer ever to reach that milestone (lifetime purses approaching $29 million). Currently sitting third in local standings, Allard had personal bests in wins (454 in 2012) and earnings (nearly $6.2 million in 2015). Allard, 29 years and 99 days old on Thursday, first got his trainer's license at age 17, racing in and around his native Quebec (Hippodrome Montreal, Hippodrome Aylmer, Quebec City Raceway, and Trois-Rivieres, plus at Rideau Carleton Raceway just minutes from the Quebec border in Ottawa, Ontario, the capital of Canada). Today he races primarily at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Yonkers, but could turn up at Harrah's Philadelphia, Saratoga, Monticello, or Pompano Park, and he even did a stint this winter at Hawthorne in Chicago.   In 2012 he has his single-season high for winners with 454; the $6,177,017 his charges rang up last year produced his best moneywinning season ever. He has never had a season-ending UTR below .300.   by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, April 13, 2016-The marathon is about over, but instead of 26.2 miles in "x" number of hours, it's five miles in five consecutive weeks......and nary a Kenyan in sight. This weekend, Yonkers Raceway offers the fifth and final preliminary rounds in both the Blue Chip Matchmaker (Friday night) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (Saturday night). The lasses in the Matchmaker go in consecutive (races 6 and 7), $40,000 divisions. Though series points-leader Al Raza N has the week off, just about all the other leading ladies are in-to-go. Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, post 4) and Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, post 2)-each with a pair of leg wins-drew into the first and second groupings, respectively, while Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett, post 2) and Carolsideal (Dube, post 3) found their way into the opening scrum. "Yagonnakissme," Krispy Apple and Carolsideal won last Friday's fourth-round events. The Levy has been whittled down to a series-low three $50,000 groupings (races 5 through 7), with the last of 'em getting the deserved attention. A perfect Bit of a Legend N (Stratton, post 4), 4-for-4 in his series soirees, hooks reining Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague, post 7) for the first time. Not that a 25-large winner's share is chump change, but neither actually needs to win this race. "Legend" is already in the final (both series conclude Saturday night, Apr. 23), and WIJI cannot qualify due to his late (third leg) Levy debut. Bit of a Legend N enters of a pair of 1:51.2 wins in succession, while Wiggle It Jiggleit authored a 1:51.1 public workout in winning his event last weekend. The opening division is led by P H Supercam (Bartlett, post 1), Lettucerockthem A (Brian Sears, post 2) and All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, post 3). Series "doublers" Mach it So (Tim Tetrick, post 2) and Lucan Hanover (Brett Miller, post 7) highlight the second event, which also includes one Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras, post 1). The sport's richest-ever horse ($7.3 million) had last week off after two fourths (one in a dead-heat) and a second in three series starts. Matchmaker and Levy standings accompany this release. Be advised that the standings do not necessarily indicate qualifiers for finals and/or consolations. Those shall be determined by the race office, as per conditions of the series. http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/bluechipstandings.pdf http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/levystandings.pdf by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 8, 2016-Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker continued Friday night, with what has become commonplace...three, $40,000 divisions. The fourth of five preliminary rounds began with a first-up Carolsideal (Dan Dube, $19.80) saved by the wire to barely beat a very unlucky Mach it a Par (George (Brennan). Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett), as the 3-2 favorite, was third Pole-sitting Request for Parole (Yannick Gingras) seated everyone early, using a :26.4 opening quarter-mile to do just that. She then rebuffed an advance from pocket-sitting Mach it a Par, stuffing that one back in behind and getting a :55.4 intermission. However, "Parole"" was denied going down the backside the second time, with Carolisdeal-away third from post position No. 3-easily going up and over. Request for Parole offered less than no resistance right at the 1:23.4 three-quarters, trapping Mach it a Par like a Chilean miner. Venus Delight, towed into contention, didn't match strides with "Carol," who opened three lengths in and out of the final turn. Mach it a Par eventually extricated herself and flew home, only to miss a head in 1:51.3...fastest Matchmaker mile of the season. Venus Delight was beaten three-quarters of a length, last season's champ failing to win in four legs thus far this time around. Request for Parole wound up last among the half-dozen, beaten 9Dan½ lengths. Fourth choice Carolsideal, a 7-year-old Western Ideal miss co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazain and Kapildeo Singh, is now 1-for-3 in her seasonal/series resume. The exacta paid $60.50, with the triple returning $132. Dube's strategy worked so well in the first series division, he employed it again in the second. This time, he and Yagonnakissmeornot ($37.80) sat off the early scrum and went from first-up to first home. At the outset, Skippin' By (Gingras), Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick) and 3-10 favorite Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) were all put in play, with the people's choice hung three-wide. Sell a Bit N looped Anndrovette for the lead before the latter drove on (:26.4, 56.3). Yagonnakissmeornot, from post No. 2, moved from fourth right around the intermission and disposed of Anndrovette well before a 1:24.1 three-quarters. That left Sell a Bit N joining Mach it a Par as a trapped miner while "Yagonnakissme" widened to three lengths off the final turn. She won by four lengths in a season's-best 1:52. Regil Elektra (Bartlett) gapped the winner but grabbed second, with Sell a Bit N settling for third. Anndrovette wound up fifth. Fifth choice Yagonnakissmeornot a 7-year-old daughter of The Panderosa who shares same trainer and ownership consortium as Carolsideal, is now 2-for-5 this season (2-for-4 in series) The exacta paid $212, with the triple returning $715. The evening's final series soiree saw Krispy Apple (Bartlett, $10.20) get off the '16 schneid. From post No. 2, she stalked Lady Shadow (Corey Callahan) as the pole-sitting, 4-5 choice led through intervals of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:23.3. Al Raza N (Dave Miller) put in a valiant, two-move effort, but gave way grudgingly as Lady Shadow owned a length-and-a-three-quarter lead into the lane. However, Krispy Apple, as the third choice, ducked in and went by, the final margin a neck in 1:51.4. Cinamony (Gingras) offered decent ground-saving pace to wind up third, while Al Raza N faded to fifth in her first series defeat. Krispy Apple, an 8-year-old Western Ideal ma'am co-owned by Bamond Racing and Joseph Davino and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., is now 1-for-5 this season (1-for-4 in series) after her 41st career victory. The exacta paid $17.80, with the triple returning $57. Saturday night's card brings the fourth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four, $50,000 divisions (races 6 through 9) comprise this go-round. After the ladies left, the longshots picked up the gauntlet. White Mountain Top (Matt Kakaley), at an even 119-1, snapped 26-1 Stay Up Late (Stratton) on the money in the $18,000, ninth-race pace. The $240 win mutuel is thus the new local standard of the season, as are the $4,438 exacta and $19,365 triple (Masterson [Bartlett], the 7-10 favorite, faded to third). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway    

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, April 6, 2016- For those who have yet to do so, it's about time to impress the judges. This weekend, Yonkers Raceway hosts the fourth of five preliminary rounds in both the Blue Chip Matchmaker sand George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Since it's women and children first, three, $40,000 Matchmaker divisions (races 5,6 and 7) are set for Friday evening. Al Raza N (Dave Miller, post 7), the only perfect (3-for-3) participant thus far, gets both a rotten draw and a new date. The 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect-subject of a fine USTA story earlier in the week-drew outside of her rivals in the final event, with Miller enlisted by owner (as Durazzano Stable) to take some of the embarrassment of riches away from Jordan Stratton. The latter had driven Al Raza N throughout the series, but opted to chauffeur For the Ladies N (post 6) here for trainer Peter Tritton. For the Ladies N closed to upset at 19-1 a week ago, while Stratton and Tritton also combine with Sell a Bit N (post 4) in the second grouping. The 6-year-old Julius Caesar ma'am has won her last two series tries and is Stratton's surmised choice for the Apr. 23 series finale. Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett, post 5), defending series champ, landed in the opening event as she looks for her first Matchmaker win. Saturday night, it's four Levy divisions (races 6 through 9) at the usual $50,000 per. Series co-leaders Take it Back Terry and Bit of a Legend N-each 3-for-3-once again have managed to avoid one another. "Terry" drew post position No. 3 in the opening group, with George Brennan again doing the honors. Among his foes is Sana Fe Beachboy (Bartlett, post 6), who threw down the season's fast local mile (1:50.2) in winning his series event last weekend. Bit of a Legend N, who won from an impossible locale a week ago (enter the dance team of Stratton and Tritton for an encore), landed post No. 6 in the third division. With the subject of the season being exit polls, reigning Harness Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) exits from the pole in the stacked second division. WIJI paced a vicious back half in his local/series debut in Round 3, winding up second to a down-the-road All Bets Off. Those two are next-door neighbors here, with All Bets Off and Matt Kakaley starting from post No. 2 in a gathering which also includes P H Supercam (Bartlett, post 4) and Lucan Hanover (Brett Miller, post 5). Domethatagain (Dan Dube, post 3), the '15 Levy winner, figures a contender in Saturday night's final division. Notably absent for this go-round is one Foiled Again, who has finished fourth twice (one in a dead-heat) and second in his three series starts. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night brought with it the third round of the harness racing George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four, $50,000 divisions featured something for everyone, as in a pair of series hat tricks, a Ron Burke double, the fastest local mile of the season and a locally-debuting Harness Horse of the Year. Let's start with apropos props for the series co-leaders, with Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $12.80) winning from an impossible locale and Take it Back Terry ($4.10) going down the road. The former, stuck behind the eight-ball, found himself last turning for home in the second division. Instead of fanning widest, Stratton found some room between rivals, then whipped Phil Your Boots (Sears) by a half-length in 1:51.2. Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras) was a wide third, with 9-10 choice P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) failing to successfully execute a second move and retreating to last. Fourth choice Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, has won five of his six North American starts. The exacta paid $50, with the triple returned $245.50. As for favored "Terry," he did his damage from post position No. 4 in the final division, holding off pocket-prowling Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) by a half-length in 1:51.4. Doctor Butch (Bartlett) was a first-up third. Take it Back Terry, a 7-year-old Western Terror gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura, won his third race in four seasonal starts.. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $11, with the triple returned $39.40 and the superfecta paid $127. Burke's first win of the Levy evening began when All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $17.60) bottomed out his foes in 1:51.3. From post No. 6, he gave himself enough separation to whip a storming home Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) by a length. WIJI, stuck seventh (from post No. 7) until the backside the second time, unleashed a torrid wide move by couldn't get to the winner in a very good local debut. Rank outsider Forty Five Red (Mark MacDonald) lost the place photo at 64-1, with Te Kawau N (Tetrick) fourth. Fourth choice All Bets Off, a 5-year-old statebred son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Panhellenic Stable, is now 2-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $64.50, the triple returned $793 and the superfecta paid $6,939. "I was going forward regardless," Kakaley said. "If (Wiggle It Jiggleit) had left with us, I was prepared to go with him. I heard him coming late, but my horse always tries." The evening's first division found Sana Fe Beachboy (Bartlett, $15.20) go up and over pole-sitting, pace-setting Bettorever (Tetrick), then whip him by 3½ lengths in 1:50.2, fastest eight furlongs of the local season. Lettucerockthem A (Stratton) closed from last to third, just ahead of a dead-heating 7-5 fave Foiled Again (Gingras) and Great Vintage (MacDonald). Foiled Again was under encouragement for much of the back half. Fourth choice Santa Fe Beachboy, a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere owned by Santa Fe Stable and trained by Richard Banca, is now 2-for-7 this season, The exacta paid $121.50, with the triple returning $1,197. "He's fast enough, you just have to drive him right," Bartlett said. Frank Drucker

Fooling no one, Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker continued Friday night. Three compacted, $40,000 legions of harness racing lasses comprised a 'sloppy' third of five preliminary rounds...and if you're name isn't Jordan Stratton, there's really no reason to continue reading. The first event saw 1-2 favorite Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) caught wide early, paying a pretty (:26.4, :55.4) price for the lead. Regil Elektra (Tim Tetrick) then moved from fourth, disposing of the leader after the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Regil Elektra owned a three-quarter-length lead into the lane and hung in there gamely, but was mowed down late by a from-last For the Ladies N (Stratton, $40.40) in 1:53.1. The longest shot on the board-from post position No. 5-won by a neck, with Jungle Genie N (Matt Kakaley) third, while Krispy Apple faded to lead among the half-dozen. For the Ladies N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Jereme's Jet owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, is now 1-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $140.50, with the triple returning $884. Friday's second Matchmaker event had owner, trainer and driver double-up with Sell a Bit N ($7.10), who herself made it a series two-fer. Negating her outside six-hole, the second choice worked around Skippin' By (Yannick Gingras), then laid down the law (:27.4, :56.4, 1:25.2, 1:53). Venus Delight (Bartlett), as the 3-5 choice, moved to challenge from third, but never came close. Sell a Bit N won by a length-and-a-quarter, with Venus Delight second and Skippin' By third. Sell a Bit N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar, is now 2-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $12.20, with the triple returning $55. The evening's final series soiree saw Stratton and just-over-even-money Al Raza N ($4.10) complete an evening/series hat trick, respectively. Watching early from post No, 4, series points leader Al Raza N was content to have Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube) retake from Request for Parole (Gingras), with early intervals of :27.4 and :57. Anndrovette moved from third down the backside, towing Al Raza N along for the ride in and out of a 1:25.1 three-quarters. Entering the lane, Yagonnakissmeornot was about to give up the ghost. Al Raza N moved widest and defeated the lass on her back, Mach it a Par (George Brennan), by a half-length in 1:53. Anndrovette held well for third. Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by Durazzano Stable and trained by Agostino Abbatiello, it was her fourth win in four five starts. The exacta paid $9, with the triple returned $41.60. “(For the Ladies N) was definitely helped by fast fractions and a short field, while the other two (Sell a Bit N and Al Raza N) always race well,” Stratton—now an honorary Kiwi—said. “I’ve been fortunate they haven’t drawn in against one another.” Yet. Friday night's Pick 5 wager, beginning with a carryover of $8,041.75, attracted $24,967 of new investments. After takeout, $26,767 was divvied up to those who had the correct sequence. The "phrase that pays" was 4/7/2/6/4, returning $545.25 for each winning half-a-buck wager. Saturday night's card brings the third round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four, $50,000 divisions (races 6 through 9) comprise this go-round, with reining Harness Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit debuting in the third event. Frank Drucker

A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York about the upcoming YR/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series. The harness racing series, contested Tuesday afternoons in April, has its first draw tomorrow (Thursday, March 31) for the Apr. 5 opener. The "bonus" in the series name is $10,000, which is paid to the winner of the Apr. 26 final provided all connections (owners, trainers and drivers) are members of the SOA of NY before post time for the first leg of the first division and throughout the series. The SOA is also sending out commemorative hats to those horsemen entering the series. For more information, please contact the race office (914-457-2627) or the SOA of NY office (914-968-3599). There are 47 trotters nominated to the series, which is open to 3-year-olds and older who were non-winners of six parimutuel races and/or $100,000 lifetime through this past Feb. 1 (winners over $150,000 lifetime through that same cut-off date were not eligible). A list of eligibles can be seen at http://empirecitycasino.com/racing/horsemen/ and a photo of the spiffy hat accompanies this release. Frank Drucker

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